Be Prepared!!!This weekend, like many others, I went for a ride on my bike. Whilst ordinarily, I am with my hubby Steve, he was otherwise engaged this time, so I was alone. As I was merrily riding along towards Keighley, I hit a pothole which sent that knowing shudder down my spine – knowledge that I had suffered a puncture!!! After the usual cursing of both my bad luck and the state of the roads around where I live, I set about the task of replacing the inner tube. Wheel off, tyre levers out and prise the tyre off. Tube out, taking careful note of where the apparent hole was in order that I could check the wheel and tyre for glass / debris etc that I would need to remove before inserting a new tube. Eventually, with the hole found and both tyre and wheel checked, out came the new tube. Now to insert a little bit of air to give it some shape and make it easier to set onto the wheel……… D’oh!!!! Where’s my pump???? Sigh…… So, there I was – victim of failing to follow the 5 P’s – Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. My complacency caused my ride to be cut short and for me to be left out in the cold, having to rely on the kindness of family to bail me out and bring me home. Thankfully, they did, and I wasn’t left too cold for too long. So, what lesson did I learn from the episode…..well quite simply, be prepared. Don’t leave anything to chance. I had been quite lucky this time in that I hadn’t ridden anywhere near the distance I had planned on riding before the puncture hit. Had I been further into my planned ride, I’d have been 25 miles from home and in the middle of nowhere! Now it is distinctly possible (and entirely probable) that on occasion, we all fall foul of complacency in our own businesses. Much of the time it may not matter, or at least it may seem like it doesn’t matter on the face of it, however the effects of complacency can be felt long after the event itself. Mistakes aren’t necessarily all bad – after all, there is some truth in the statement “We all learn from our mistakes”. I’m pretty sure I’ll not leave home on my bike without my pump again, for instance!So make sure that you regularly assess your business as a whole, to check that it is prepared for whatever might arise. Don’t wait for the worst to happen – if you get a sniff, take action now. Prevention is better than cure! Watch the market place for trends and upcoming threats, as well as opportunities (what plans do you have for the 2014 Tour De France when it visits our shores, for instance) and take action NOW! In short, make sure you’re in the leading pack at the “Tête de la Course” and not at the back in the “Arrière du Peloton”. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail after all and yes, I know, this blog is rapidly turning into an homage to catchphrase, so I’ll stop right there!